The Darth Maul Problem...

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So I've spent a lot of time wondering just why Lucas killed Maul in TPM. This was a character that, in the summer of 1999, you could not escape his gaze. He was draped on everything from billboards to soda machines, every store aisle was filled with his tattooed visage. He was the poster-child of the film. He was the top of the action figure list, everyone wanted THAT character when the merchandise was released...

...and then the film comes out. What was thought to be essentially the new Vader ultimately got about two or three short lines, zero character development to the point of his character essentially being that he has no personality, and then he's killed off. Can you say wasted potential? This sadly also became a running trend in the Prequels, expendable (albeit aesthetically awesome) villains. But Maul is truly where it began. I can't even understand what the actual aim of the character really was. He's literally there just to kill Qui Gon Jinn.

Now we could talk all day about how he's not really dead, but honestly, I always found that story to be far fetched glorified fan fiction designed to redeem what clearly was a mistake. Whether we like it or not, Lucas killed Maul. I accept it (flawed as it is) far more than some wildly contrive explanation on how he could possibly survive that. That's just my opinion; but the entire existence of his survival is clearly a commentary on one thing; Maul wasn't done justice.

But my point is; what should have been done with Maul? For starters, rather than having an extending list of continuously shallow and largely unexplored villains, do quality over quantity. He should have been the villain of the prequels, it seems this is pretty much unanimous agreed upon. However, I think to make that satisfying or even possible, Maul has to be drastically re-written. I'd composite Maul with Dooku. Give him actual character and purpose beyond just, essentially, a Bond villains muscle sub-villain whom exists JUST for one fight sequence. For as wonderful as Duel of the Fates is, at the end of the day, there's no emotion. It boils down to just three people saying "I'm good, you're bad, we're going to fight now!" There's no connection, no real purpose, gravity, or resonance to the fight. They barely (in the case of Obi-Wan don't at all) know each other. It's just pretty glow sticks swinging around in a giant lightshow room. There's no investment! There's no history...

Except there is...there is history between Jedi and Sith. There's just no history between these specific characters. I read an idea where, in the subplot of Maul tracking the Queen and Jedi to Tatooine, an idea could be that he'd question Palpatine, stating that Jedi would never go to the outer rim. This could emerge into his background, how his world was war torn and the Jedi never interfered, causing a resentment for the Jedi order. He was in poverty, homeless, a street rat when Palpatine found him. Perhaps before he begins to trail the heroes, show a lot of him training with Sidious, vocalizing his backstory. Then have him actually speak to Qui Gon while fighting him originally, mocking him, eventually coming to kill him in much the same way, but not explaining to Obi-Wan that he is indeed familiar with him. Have this create a blood feud, one that runs through the entire trilogy.

That's all I got so far...but I would def. have Dooku included, but Maul is the Sith behind the separatists...just Dooku being more a corrupt politician and former Jedi and figurehead for the public persona of the separatists.
 
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Very well thought out and written, but I respectfully disagree.
Alot of people hate the PT but I love them.
Maul was perfect. The silent but strong hitman for Sidious. But the point is, he was never meant to be too strong. He wasn't meant to outshine Vader in the OT.
I'm glad thers was a different villian in each prequel movie (Maul for TPM, Dooku for AOTC and Sidious for ROTS). The first two weren't meant to appear stronger than Vader of the OT and, rightfully so, souldn't have lasted the entire trilogy.
Only Sidious, who became Emperor Palpatine should have returned for more than one movie.
 
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Believe it or not there is actually a very important reason for Maul and Dooku to die. It serves as a void that Sideous needs to fill. This search ultimately comes full circle with the discovery of Anakin and his rise to Jedi powerhouse then fall from grace. Like it or not Sideous and Anakin are the focal point of the trillogy. By taking notice of all of the potential character traits, you see that Maul and the Count both display some traits that make them formidable, yet they are a contrast of one another. Whereas carefully laid plans steer Anakin on a path that he gains the more favorable traits of both of them but surpasses those levels and is seemingly less flawed due to his power level. Vader is mostly an amalgamation of both Dooku and Maul. I think Maul was fascinating however and could have lasted until the next film. But when could you possibly flesh out the count? One of the curses of being limited to three films.
 
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Maul was whacked because Lucas just never meant for him to be as cool as he was and he never expected him to gain such traction with fans. On the script pages he's probably just another evil, Bond style henchman, with a target glued to his back. Designed to be killed from the very beginning. But, as manifested on screen, he became much more, even if it really was only in people's heads. He doesn't really do that much in the movie. However, he made for a very interesting villain, even if much of that interest rests on his visual design. He's far more interesting than the insipid (and ridiculously named) Dooku and the absurd (and equally ridiculously named) Grievous.

I've always thought the prequels were incredibly dumb films, but I thought Darth Maul was a brilliant creation. He's probably the best thing about 'The Phantom Menace' and to kill him off showed a real lack of understanding from George Lucas, who once had the wherewithal to keep Darth Vader (another henchman) intact at the end of his 1977 film, even though he thought the chances of a sequel to 'Star Wars' were slim enough.

What's even worse than killing Maul off in Episode I, was the awful decision to resurrect him, with half a metal body. I don't even know where to begin with that silliness.
 
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Believe it or not there is actually a very important reason for Maul and Dooku to die. It serves as a void that Sideous needs to fill.
But this would have worked had he lived. Replace Dooku with Maul and have Anakin decapitate him instead, thus adding another notch on his darkside bedpost and another step toward Palpatine. Dooku himself was only created to fill the void that Maul left anyway, and he doesn't do it terribly well.
 
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But this would have worked had he lived. Replace Dooku with Maul and have Anakin decapitate him instead, thus adding another notch on his darkside bedpost and another step toward Palpatine. Dooku himself was only created to fill the void that Maul left anyway, and he doesn't do it terribly well.
This is the first post in a long time that I find interesting. Talking about SW that still fits with the pre Disney EU. I have to confess though my thinking has always tended more towards making the EU fit together, rather than What If? alternate theories, so I hadn't considered some of the ideas suggested. Having said that, just off the top of my head I had two thoughts to reply regarding perhaps Anakin killing Maul instead.

The first is that it is an early sign (to the viewers) that Kenobi can be a great Jedi. The Jedi, Jinn and Kenobi, are caught off guard with the presence of a 'dark' Jedi; someone trained in the arts but obviously not one of them, and evil. Though I believe Jinn is finding peace and strength in the Force while being cut off from Maul in that electric hallway, I never necessarily bought into the idea that he was an older man and had speed/strength/endurance limitations compared to his youth, as well as current younger Jedi. I don't know if I buy that he was fighting aggressively, perhaps beyond his talents, and thus needed to recuperate strength. But being older, he does have experience, we can assume. So the fact that Maul killed him, I won't say easily, but held the two of them off simultaneously, and did kill Jinn without a protracted battle, shows that Maul is someone with considerable ability and is a genuine threat. And Kenobi beats him, again I won't say easily, but uses cunning as opposed to brute force to win. You have a young Jedi best what was shown to be a strong opponent who just bested a top Jedi himself. So Maul's purpose is to generate a powerful blow against the Jedi, and allow Kenobi to top him in return, thus revealing the potential within Kenobi.

The second is that we have already seen the order rebuke Jinn about training Anakin, and Kenobi bringing up that if he stopped bucking the order he could be on the council and perhaps have better luck influencing their course that way. So Kenobi seems like he would side with the council in regards to the training of Anakin. Having Maul kill Jinn, he being held back only to watch as it happened, then face death himself only to defeat Maul, this really was an incredibly emotional moment for Kenobi. With Jinn still being alive to speak briefly to him, the emotional strain and pull on the heartstrings with the deathbed request is needed to get Kenobi to promise to train Anakin. The situation is the manipulation to get Kenobi to train Anakin.

I think if you keep everything in the movie intact beforehand, and let Maul live, you have to now formulate some new plot line to get Kenobi to train Anakin, and who knows how convoluted that addition may make everything appear? Otherwise, the question might be why even have a Jinn in the first place, why not just have Kenobi and Anakin, and then you start playing with ages and the movie might have to occur later in the timeline (as I know many have said we should have met Anakin older and seen more teen or young Jedi stories.) So what I'm saying is that to keep as much of the story intact, but not have Kenobi kill Maul, would add a complication of more plot. The other option being a rather large revision of Lucas' intended story, and who knows what other weak points or concerns something else may have caused?

I think that the credit for Maul's impact with fans comes down to Ray Park and his physical performance, as well as the facial makeup design. Come up with a different design, even color scheme, or have a different actor, and I don't think Maul has such an impact with fans. You've got two different guys on the council that I believe are of the same species, with bland tannish color, and to me those are almost two weak extras from the alien design and prop department. Of course they were peaceful Jedi and not evil Sith, but I found more interest with Ki Adi Mundi or even Kit Fisto. Maul's red and black paint scheme and yellow horns was a very striking combination backed by a powerful physical performance.

I think Jinn is just as much a 'sad' casualty as Maul. For me, the three best performances in the PT, or the ones that have the greatest emotional impact with me, are Palpatine, Maul, and Jinn. Neeson's Jinn resounded with me as a teacher, a scholarly leader, a wise man to follow. Someone with wisdom that touches the heart and soul, and not simply intellect. Neeson played a bigger part than Jinn's intended role was.

With Maul I feel almost terror at his evil viciousness, which is different from OT Vader. With OT Vader it was simply the fear of being killed. With the Force chokes, his calm physical demeanor, it was more panic and fear of death. Yeah, you might get drugged or electrocuted in torture, but Maul seemed to generate a ruthlessness like he would scowl and take pleasure in the killing of you. So it wasn't jut a fear of dying, but a fear of the dying/killing process. With Maul it would be a more brutal physical assault, and I think in real life, that scares people more than the idea of death. The how. I think most people would rather just die than to suffer for any length of time, and still die anyway.

And then Palpatine, just watching his evil unfold, his machinations come to be, his calm, under the surface disdain, that was a chilling performance of evil.

Dooku and Grievous leave a very flat, boring impression on me, compared to Maul, Palpatine, and Jinn.

I also feel that Maul's revival, and portrayal in The Clone Wars reduces the impact created in TPM. While I can understand a person perhaps cracking psychologically from being bested, and trying to survive with half a body, I think that dramatically alters Maul's nature. You can say he bounced back from it, but to me it was a weakness I didn't like seeing in the character, in the same way that I feel the PT drastically changed my impression of Vader from the OT. I understand how that arc came to be, how he became Vader, but to look at him as a character overall, he's more pathetic and tragic than fearful and mighty, which is how I originally thought of him from the OT.
 
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But this would have worked had he lived. Replace Dooku with Maul and have Anakin decapitate him instead, thus adding another notch on his darkside bedpost and another step toward Palpatine. Dooku himself was only created to fill the void that Maul left anyway, and he doesn't do it terribly well.
Not reallyn and here's why... Maul was the essence of violate power, a living embodiment of terror. His appearance alone induced fear and his physical attacks were just as frightening. But he did not posess the cunning that Dooku did. The count was wise and calculating. Ruthless enough to manipulate situations as well as people. Maul was in short the ultimate thug. Dooku was the opposite, a cold and calculated villain. Had Maul lived through it all it would make Sideous' journey weak. One could argue that swapping the villains could work, but the emotional damage to Obi Wan and our impressions would likely change. Qui gon was a father figure to Obi wan. To see him defeated by a viscious thug type instills fear and doubt in Ben. We already know he is wise because we have the benefit of future knowledge. But is Obi wan strong enough both physically and mentally to overcome his adversary? Will his training be strong enough to overcome fear itself? These are the character developments required to move Ben along. I will admit they translate poorly to the screen because the directing and film making were not too good.
This sets up Ben as a wise and strong mentor for Anakin. We now know Ben had the goods all around and is worthy to learn from. Remember as awll some of us (MYSELF INCLUDED) never wanted to watch Clone wars...so we only take away what we see in the films. This is the only source we have of measuring who is capable of what.
Dooku represented something entirely diffetent. He was the evil lurking in plain sight.if Maul was fear Dooku was deceit. This is reinforced when they acknowledge that Dooku was a Jedi and incapable of vile acts. Surely nobody would ever corrupt a Jedi and steer him away from his teachings... And part of that is true. Again poor film making confuses the audience. Dooku is a lot more than what people perceive him as. He is NOT purely evil. He is manipulated by the dark side itself. He easily could have killed Obi wan when he took him prisoner. But instead told him exactly what was going on. That the entire Jedi order was being mannipulated as well. Read between the lines and there is much more meat on the bone of the story than Lucas allows to be absorbed. This entire exchange is also foreshadowing what will happen to Anikin.somewhere between films i feel Dooku was set to betray and kill Sideous.though at this point his dabbling in the dark side had corrupted him enough that had he completed his initial mission, the lure of power would not allow him to restore peace. Thus Palpatine had Anakin execute him.
The traits of deceit and fear rolled into one was exactly what Palpatine wanted. He was steering Anakin there. He would be the ultimate Sith...power..fear...and deceit all in one. Sideous didnt merely fill a hole with Dooku, he saw the limitatins of Maul and knew that if his plan was to unfold he had to go a different route.
So if they were swapped or if maul was an amalgamation of himself and Dooku the entire conflict changes. So we could never have our cake and eat it too....
Btw Sizzler you raise a lot of great points as well... Bringing back Maul lessens the imact of the character as badly as having Greedo shoot first....
 
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The situation is the manipulation to get Kenobi to train Anakin.
But, Maul can still kill Qui Gon and get away though. Thus Kenobi still takes on the responsibility of training Anakin as Qui Gon's last words advises and he promises to do.

The scene can still roughly play out as is and Qui Gin gets skewered. But, perhaps Maul uses the force to trap Kenobi within the walls of that electric corridor (what the hell was that for anyway?) That corridor reminds me of that scene in 'Galaxy Quest' where Sigorney Weaver what possible purpose a chomping room could possibly have.:grin:

Kenobi, trapped behind the electric forcefield, is going nuts at the death of his master, but needs to try and calm himself in the way the Qui Gon did previously and try to get free. Or, maybe Kenobi falls down the shaft and not Maul? But, it's not the bottomless pit it first seems? Or maybe he just uses the force to stop himself in freefall. Remember, the prequels turned the Jedi into supermen, so anything's possible.

There are numerous ways that Maul lives, Qui Gon dies and Kenobi still ends up training Anakin.

Although, I'd be for an even bigger revision of the whole story anyway. One where we never see Anakin as a small boy (because, frankly, it was bloody awful). Instead we are thrust into a story where there is no Qui Gon (even though he was a great character). There is just Kenobi and Skywalker, a man in his 40's and a 20 something apprentice who's learning from his master to use his force powers and study under his tutelage. This matches up much better with the OT too, where Kenobi is clearly a man in his 60's. There's really no need for any other tangential story lines. This would also help do away with the midichlorian nonsense, miracle births and the laughable "chosen one" gibberish that does nothing for Star Wars as a whole.
 
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Not reallyn and here's why... Maul was the essence of violate power, a living embodiment of terror. His appearance alone induced fear and his physical attacks were just as frightening. But he did not posess the cunning that Dooku did. The count was wise and calculating. Ruthless enough to manipulate situations as well as people. Maul was in short the ultimate thug. Dooku was the opposite, a cold and calculated villain.
I'm not sure how this really adds up in any way to support Maul's exit.

All three henchmen are just tools for Palpatine's power struggle, so the calculations of Dooku are very much in doubt. In any case, Maul can still live, as the Emperor's apprentice (and thug), while Count Dooku is introduced as a dark sider. Even General Grievous can still take to the stage. They're all getting played by Palpatine anyway.

For me there's no real credible scenario where Maul HAS to die.
 
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I think it would be better to simply just replace maul with doooku, TBH. and let him 'get away' at the end of TPM after killing qui-gon.
this would explain why "qui-gon's master" had left the Jedi Order in the first place (he betrayed the order to become a sith apprentice in TPM);
and this would add some weight to the "duel of the fates" (because qui-gon and obi-wan would be confronting "qui-gon's master" in this scene -- it WOULD be "personal"):
qui-gon would be killed by his OWN jedi master in TPM (thus completing dooku's journey to the dark side, like Kylo wanted, in TFA, by killing Han);
and obi-wan would need to deal with his anger and his desire for "revenge" in AOTC.(imagine the scene where dooku interrogates obi-wan in AOTC -- and obi-wan is FUMING because THIS is the guy who killed qui-gon in the previous film).

simply put: yes! maul and dooku should have been the same character -- but NO! it should not have been "maul" in both movies.
(it should have been dooku in both movies, for a much better story than we got).
 
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^^^ Realistically, George likely only remembered Christopher because of his supreme performance in the LOTR trilogy (that would steal the thunder from his Prequel LOL).

Like many components of TPM, Maul was brimming with potential— and may be one of the few characterizations that actually worked well, in his minimal appearance and even more minimal speaking parts. All the Sithy one-note replacements after Maul seemed to be a classic case of marketing-by-trend process: AS mentioned, Dooku was George realizing just how effective and effortless Christopher is as a villain because of his supreme performance in the LOTR. But his lack of writing and directing skills just couldn’t create an interesting character— even if it was Christopher performing it. George's initial casting of a female Sith would have been far far far superior— visually and narratively (even to the point of playing the seductress to an impressionable Anakin), and likely yielded more potential than Maul: Her concept art designs were stunning. However, that would mean George would have to make the effort to write and direct a new character. And George seemed to had become complacent by the time of AOTC (I always got the impression the backlash for TPM really hurt, and angered him. And he seemed so removed of any passion and heart afterwards): Everything about AOTC was desperately, mechanically pandering. AOTC doesn’t even look like it belonged in the same rich universe that TPM introduced. And by the time of ROTS, Grievous was a silly toy in a videogame of a movie.

Maul was well-utiliazed in TPM. Less is more, and George was so confident and in his element that he made the audience want more of Maul. And rightfully didn’t give it to them. Selfish-George who didn’t give in to his fans, is my fav George: that’s the visionary maverick. It’s just too bad Maul is carelessly polluting everything post-TPM. He really should have remained dead.

(I adore the design of Maul, and nothing has come close to his design with any new Sith: Timeless, primal, visceral, graphic, seductive, regal and such an elegant addition to the Sith design vocabulary of a more “civilized age” of AGFFA. TPM’s design is pure visionary and remains untouched 20 years later. If it’s true that the GOT duo is setting their trilogy at the era of The Old Republic, they'd be smart to keep the design aesthetic in the tone of TPM’s— just with more GOT-esque armoury. TPM’s was pure high design bliss.)
 
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Verrry interesting cobalt. The thing is if you combine them its merely a swap out instead of a search. But could make for better story telling.
 
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I've always thought the prequels were incredibly dumb films, but I thought Darth Maul was a brilliant creation. He's probably the best thing about 'The Phantom Menace' and to kill him off showed a real lack of understanding from George Lucas, who once had the wherewithal to keep Darth Vader (another henchman) intact at the end of his 1977 film, even though he thought the chances of a sequel to 'Star Wars' were slim enough.
Yeah but it is the same guy that gave Boba Fett a very unceremoniously lame death as well. So the Darth Maul thing seems pretty much in-line with the way Lucas did things. Same could be said for Jango.

If Lucas hadn't already decided that Vader was kind of the "hidden main character" of the overall story, I'm sure he would've died in the trench.
 
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Yeah but it is the same guy that gave Boba Fett a very unceremoniously lame death as well. So the Darth Maul thing seems pretty much in-line with the way Lucas did things. Same could be said for Jango.
But Boba Fett was only ever a side character. He was never supposed to be anything more than just some bloke that Vader hired. It was fandom, alone, that turned Fett into the, to be honest, silly nonsense we get today.

You could say that Maul was only a side character, but he was the only real antagonist in TPM. Palpatine was in the background and still being portrayed as an honest merchant. He was still in the background for AOTC, which is why Dooku had to be created. But with the knowledge that Lucas had attained with the Fett situation in the 80's, you'd think he'd have been more aware in 1999 and not made the same "mistake" he did with Boba. although, I don't think there was any actual mistake made. Boba Fett died. People need to get over it. Personally, I've never had any issue with the way he died or that he died. He's just some bad guy in fancy suit of armour.

Plus, Fett died in ROTJ because that was the end of the trilogy. There wasn't gong to be any more adventures in that period and keeping him alive just would have looked weird, especially when Vader and the Emperor were dead. He just would have been a loose end to most of the audience. In any case, by 1983, Lucas had desired to return to an earlier period if another set of Star Wars films were ever to be made. So Fett was surplus to requirements. TPM was the start of a new trilogy and one that was actually PLANNED as a trilogy, so in this instance killing off such an obviously great bad guy was a terrible idea.

It was an incredible lack of foresight on behalf of Lucas.

If Lucas hadn't already decided that Vader was kind of the "hidden main character" of the overall story, I'm sure he would've died in the trench.
He hadn't decided that in 1977. In fact, he was nowhere near to such an idea.
 
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Yeah but it is the same guy that gave Boba Fett a very unceremoniously lame death as well. So the Darth Maul thing seems pretty much in-line with the way Lucas did things. Same could be said for Jango.

If Lucas hadn't already decided that Vader was kind of the "hidden main character" of the overall story, I'm sure he would've died in the trench.
Like Cellblock said, I don't really think Boba can be applied here. Boba was clearly a subsidiary character and while ultimately Maul was too, I think we're arguing that Maul shouldn't have been. While Boba being relegated to a fairly minor role makes sense, Maul just sort of doesn't. At least not to me. He was THE immediate villain. I think a better comparison would be if Lucas killed Vader at the end of ANH but STILL kept going with the films.
 
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Hello!
I fully agree with your point of view!
I think that Darth Maul was just the benchmark for the bad guy in the film. Even his appearance - sharp horns, aggressive black - red tattoo, style of fighting with double light saber. Everything seemed to tell us in his appearance - I am a villain and I want to kill you. But hell, even his small appearance made him one of the most colorful characters! It is a pity that he was so badly revealed - this is one of the most potential characters in the universe in my opinion
 
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maul was introduced as the direct apprentice to the Emperor.
one of only 2 sith in the universe. he was standing in Vader's shoes.
this makes him MORE than a casual side character.

on the other hand, the story required palpatine to seek out a new apprentice at some point,
otherwise Vader would never have happened.

so Maul's days were numbered, by design -- he was written to die.
his death was part of his dramatic purpose.
 
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maul was introduced as the direct apprentice to the Emperor.
one of only 2 sith in the universe. he was standing in Vader's shoes.
this makes him MORE than a casual side character.

on the other hand, the story required palpatine to seek out a new apprentice at some point,
otherwise Vader would never have happened.

so Maul's days were numbered, by design -- he was written to die.
his death was part of his dramatic purpose.
See I'll have to respectfully disagree with him being more that a side character. He's important to lore, true, but lore and actual narrative relevance to the immediate plot are different things. I'm not sure of the literal screen time, but I'd have to guess it's around ten minutes, tops, and that might be being generous. He has, what, three lines? I believe two of which are just "Yes, my master." He kills Qui Gon, that's his only contribution, which I always agreed with RedLetterMedia in that Qui Gon is a character that didn't need to exist to begin with. But yes, it's important to Sith lore and Palpatine's plan, but that is not immediately relevant to the actual plot of the film. So I stand by my comment that he's a subsidiary character in the film.

But I do agree that, obviously, he had to die eventually. But I do think it speaks volumes toward my argument that he was brought back. Despite the absurdity to which he was returned, the fact that he did make a return is basically a self-confession from Lucasfilm that yes, he was wasted in the film. My issue is by no means that he died. My issue is WHERE he died. Technically speaking...you don't even need Dooku. It's superfluous, he isn't required if you don't kill Maul in TPM. I always argued that one quality character you sincerely get to know is vastly superior to two or three minor characters that you make an expendable waste before you ever really learn much about. Now sure, EU has elaborated upon the backstories and personalities of Maul, Dooku, Jango, and Grievous. None of these roles are particularly well done, the only reason they're remembered is because of superficial reasons. Even I can admit, they look cool or can do cool things. That's about all they have to offer to the plot. You can literally cut these four down to two...maybe even one...through the entire prequel trilogy. It's almost funny when you realize that Dooku serves the same narrative purpose as Grievous, separatist leader, and Maul served the same narrative purpose as Dooku, Sith pawn. It's overly complex for no reason other than, well, really likely marketing reasons. Giant four armed cyborgs with four lightsabers sell toys! Just combine them all into Maul and have him act as that role for all three films to eventually be usurped by Anakin/Vader.
 
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In your proposed scenario, a surviving Maul could be the template for the Grand Army (considering that's really all Jango adds to the overall plot) All cloned Republic/Imperial soldiers would've canonically been Zabrak, which actually sounds rather bad-***.
 
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^^^ That sounds so godawful LOL

TPM and Maul worked well for me because there was such a thoughtful restraint. Post-TPM, it was everything and anything goes :sigh:

I get that EU/comics/videogames is the ideal domain for everything/anything goes cheese and camp; I suppose that’s why so many love it… It’s where all their childhood make-believes are realized with absolutely no restraint nor any sense of nuance. It’s like people that think Vader vs the rebels is the best part of RO. RO is my fav SW, and that scene, along wth the Leia-cameo, is the worst part of the movie: The movie ends with the waves crashing over Cassian and Jyn, as far as I’m concerned. Just like I can wave off the majority of SW— EU/comics/videogames/AOTC/ROTS/Sequel/Solo as non-essential, non-canon to my SW enjoyment, I can easily wave off the silly resurrection of Maul, because his death at the end of TPM was that perfect execution of confidence from George that he will quickly snatch the best thing away from you just when you want more of it-- because he's got more of where that good thing came from. That’s the George I admired.
 
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Yeah but it is the same guy that gave Boba Fett a very unceremoniously lame death as well. So the Darth Maul thing seems pretty much in-line with the way Lucas did things. Same could be said for Jango.

If Lucas hadn't already decided that Vader was kind of the "hidden main character" of the overall story, I'm sure he would've died in the trench.
That's the thing about Fett - it wasn't the fact that he died that people took issue with, it is HOW he died, ironically killed by Han by accident, instead of the grand shootout, showing that ONLY Han Solo was capable of taking down THE baddest Bounty Hunter in the galaxy - THAT is how most fans wanted to see Han get his retribution.


In Maul's case, it wasn't even his look that made him so popular, but the second he lit the double-blade in the teaser trailer, people were talking. THAT was something we had never seen in the OT, and it made his character that much cooler, made people want to see him fight. I didn't like how little screen time he got, but it's understandable when you realize it's to show just how powerful Kenobi is and will become, to be able to defeat Maul. It also shows how powerful Dooku actually is, that he twice beats Obi-Wan with ease, that only Yoda and an experienced, more powerful Anakin are capable of defeating him.

It is unfortunate that Lucas removed a very simple line from the movie that was in the novel, that where Dooku looks at Palpatine before Anakin beheads him and says "You promised me amnesty!" It not only would have made the evil calculations of Palpatine that much stronger to the audience, but would have planted a seed of doubt in Anakin about Palpatine, leading to their confrontation where he calls him out as a Sith Lord. Have Anakin doubt BOTH sides strongly before ultimately succumbing to the Dark Side, rather than only mistrusting the Jedi save for this brief moment when he pulls his saber on the future Emperor.
 
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I mean, at the end of the day, there's so many things that don't add up to me in the PT. For one, why exactly does it require force abilities to figure out who the Sith Lord is? Doesn't it just require common sense? You don't need some magical power to realize that the person benefiting most from this circumstance is Palpatine. Investigate him! It makes zero sense to me that he's ONLY looked into once the Sith Lord aspect comes out. Now I don't even mean this as a viewer, it's blatantly overt that Palpatine is Sidious, but I mean this actually within the context of the story as well. People honestly should have come to a natural conclusion that he should, at minimum, be investigated.

Because of this, it vicariously makes a ton of characters look like complete and utter idiots. Now I know it's established by Mace and Yoda that, what does he say, "Our ability to use the force is diminishing," but again, it JUST takes a freaking BRAIN! This in turn makes Anakin look like the most naive and foolish moron in the history of the franchise. When viewing the OT, Vader never remotely feels like a mindless puppet. He seems very well aware that Palpatine is using him. But in ROTS, he's so braindead. The entire fall to the dark side scene is so baffling to me. He quite literally goes from "What have I done?" when assisting in Mace's death to "Yes, my master" in the span of about 5 seconds. You attempt to make him sympathetic, his motive being to save his wife and unborn children, but then you have him KILL children. If there's any way to make a character unsympathetic, that's it. You can't have your cake and eat it too. The fact he murders the younglings feels entirely out of character. It's an edgelord moment, a cheap shock jock move, "I want him to be DARK! HE'LL KILL KIDS!" It's cheap and completely something I believe the established character would not do! It contradicts the theme that he's sympathetic, identifiable, tragic, and eventually redeemed. I don't want to identify and pity a child killer! It would be so much more natural to show him killing the adults, but once he gets to the children...he can't go through with it. He leaves them to the clones. That way you establish that he has turned, that he's not puppeteered into hating the Jedi but sincerely does for his own personal reasons (feeling held back, distrusted, disrespected, and I'd have had him excommunicated from the order due to the council discovering his marriage...I.E: creating motive), and yet you still RETAIN his sympathetic and tragic character. I'd have built up a long-running resentment he has toward Mace, I'd have had Palpatine never ignite a lightsaber but rather have Anakin and Mace have an all out swordfight with Palpatine just watching, and I'd have had Anakin commit to killing Mace. That way, when he does accept the title of Vader...it feels organic. It doesn't feel like he's tricked into it, he WANTED it!
 
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I’ve given the question of Maul’s purpose in the prequels a lot of thought actually. So great thread. To be honest, what I think Lucas was going for was the evolution of Palpatine and his apprentices. I think originally he believed he could train an apprentice at a young age and when that didn’t work, he went with an older, wiser, and more powerful apprentice. But, when that reached its logical conclusion he was able to replace Dooku with Anakin. And, his plan was to replace Darth Vader with Luke.

So look at Maul as more of a pawn of Palpatine that was meant to take on the Jedi with his strength and power. He was always expendable in Palpatine’s scheme to bring down the Jedi order. Just as Dooku and Vader was as well.
 
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https://theentertainmentnut.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/movie-musings-the-path-to-darth-vader-buried-within-the-star-wars-prequels/

I did a little post about the Sith Apprentices on my blog, and was analyzing Lucas' decision. If you look at the apprentices in all three films, from Maul to Tyrannus and even Grievous, they all form puzzle-pieces that lead to Vader.

- Maul is the over-confident apprentice who feels his powers are perfect, much like Anakin...but their overconfidence is taken down by...Obi-Wan Kenobi!
- Tyrannus was disillusioned by the Jedi, much like how Anakin became disillusioned with them.
- Grievous was a pre-Vader, a creature saved from death and turned into an imposing figure of menace and evil.
 
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I mean, at the end of the day, there's so many things that don't add up to me in the PT. For one, why exactly does it require force abilities to figure out who the Sith Lord is? Doesn't it just require common sense? You don't need some magical power to realize that the person benefiting most from this circumstance is Palpatine. Investigate him! It makes zero sense to me that he's ONLY looked into once the Sith Lord aspect comes out. Now I don't even mean this as a viewer, it's blatantly overt that Palpatine is Sidious, but I mean this actually within the context of the story as well. People honestly should have come to a natural conclusion that he should, at minimum, be investigated.

Because of this, it vicariously makes a ton of characters look like complete and utter idiots. Now I know it's established by Mace and Yoda that, what does he say, "Our ability to use the force is diminishing," but again, it JUST takes a freaking BRAIN! This in turn makes Anakin look like the most naive and foolish moron in the history of the franchise. When viewing the OT, Vader never remotely feels like a mindless puppet. He seems very well aware that Palpatine is using him. But in ROTS, he's so braindead. The entire fall to the dark side scene is so baffling to me. He quite literally goes from "What have I done?" when assisting in Mace's death to "Yes, my master" in the span of about 5 seconds. You attempt to make him sympathetic, his motive being to save his wife and unborn children, but then you have him KILL children. If there's any way to make a character unsympathetic, that's it. You can't have your cake and eat it too. The fact he murders the younglings feels entirely out of character. It's an edgelord moment, a cheap shock jock move, "I want him to be DARK! HE'LL KILL KIDS!" It's cheap and completely something I believe the established character would not do! It contradicts the theme that he's sympathetic, identifiable, tragic, and eventually redeemed. I don't want to identify and pity a child killer! It would be so much more natural to show him killing the adults, but once he gets to the children...he can't go through with it. He leaves them to the clones. That way you establish that he has turned, that he's not puppeteered into hating the Jedi but sincerely does for his own personal reasons (feeling held back, distrusted, disrespected, and I'd have had him excommunicated from the order due to the council discovering his marriage...I.E: creating motive), and yet you still RETAIN his sympathetic and tragic character. I'd have built up a long-running resentment he has toward Mace, I'd have had Palpatine never ignite a lightsaber but rather have Anakin and Mace have an all out swordfight with Palpatine just watching, and I'd have had Anakin commit to killing Mace. That way, when he does accept the title of Vader...it feels organic. It doesn't feel like he's tricked into it, he WANTED it!
I felt the reason for not making the connection, was that the Jedi had let their powers wane. They had grown complacent since the Sith had gone extinct. Plus, who would think that their evil enemy would become a politician? The Jedi were most likely looking for the enemy to come from the outside, not burst forth from within and stab them in the backs!

As for Anakin's sudden turn the altercation with Mace, I felt he realized how much trouble he was in: he had helped in the killing of a Jedi Master. He knew he was in trouble, but Palpatine was offering him an out: become my apprentice, I will help you, AND, your wife.

If one notices, Anakin doesn't admit to any what he has done. he just needs to keep telling himself that he's doing this because it'll get me what I want: power the Jedi kept from me, the power to keep Padme alive. Palpatine had him desperate enough to trust him, that Anakin would believe anything he said and requested...much like in our own real world.
 
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